“Freedom’s Home and Defender”

“It is said that adversity introduces us to ourselves,” said President Bush three days after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

“America is a nation full of good fortune, with so much to be grateful for, but we are not spared from suffering. In every generation, the world has produced enemies of human freedom. They have attacked America because we are freedom’s home and defender, and the commitment of our fathers is now the calling of our time.”

Freedom is America’s precious treasure―and never more than a few decisions away from being lost. External acts of war and terrorism can undermine a nation. But as Russian thinker Alexander Solzhenitsyn famously said, “the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts.”

With economic uncertainty, conflicts abroad, and an emerging political season, it’s heartening to remember that character is the first defense against the loss of freedom. Character is the thing for which each of us bears sole responsibility, while being our own greatest power for good. Character under pressure built America, brought us through tough times, and will keep our country “freedom’s home and defender.”


Kathryn Hickok is Publications Director at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Individual Responsiblity, Terrorism, Veterans | Tagged , , | 25 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • 3H

    “With economic uncertainty, conflicts abroad, and an emerging political season, it’s heartening to remember that character is the first defense against the loss of freedom.”

    Character – not “free markets”.

    • Steve Buckstein

      3H, since there is little or no freedom without free markets (in my humble opinion), saying that free markets are the first defense against the loss of freedom would be a tautology.

      • the real valley person

        Sweden and Finland once had plenty of freedom absent free markets. China has plenty of free market with no freedom, as does Singapore.  So there is no tautology. Only a loose correlation.

        • 3H

          I gotta tell ya Steve, free markets on their own do not build character.  The record is way too mixed to accept that conclusion.   People bring their character to the free market.  How people are tested and react to the conditions of the free market can either improve or diminish their character.  Bad people engaging in the free market do not magically become good.   

          • Steve Buckstein

            3H, I don’t think the author of this post is arguing that free markets build character. I’m not making that argument either.

            I would argue that it is free markets that best allow us to choose who we do business with; thus letting us avoid “bad people”; shun them, boycott them, or impose legal penalties if they do a certain amount of harm to others through their business dealings.

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